A POWYS man banned from the roads just three months ago has received a four-year driving ban after he admitted drug driving.

Darren Roberts, of Castle Caereinion, was disqualified in August for three years following an offence of failing to provide a sample when he was pulled over by police on July 16.

Roberts was stopped by the same police officer, PC Bufton, on two consecutive days, July 15 and 16 this year.

The defendant, driving for DPD at the time, deliberately refused to give a sample of blood at the police station because he had already given one less than 24 hours previously.


At Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 14, Roberts pleaded guilty to drug driving on July 15 – the day before the offence he was banned for back in August.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said Roberts was stopped on the B4389 in Bettws Cedewain, near Newtown, driving a blue Seat Leon.

A roadside drug wipe proved positive for Benzoylecgonine (BZE), a compound of cocaine, with 134 micrograms found in his system – the legal limit is 50 micrograms.

“PC Bufton stopped the vehicle. The driver was uninsured and he noted a smell of cannabis,” said Mrs Tench.

“A drug swipe was positive for cannabis and cocaine. A further blood sample found cannabis. It was under the legal limit but new guidelines state another drug is treated as an aggravating factor, even if not an illegal amount.

“Previous matters show there will be a minimum three-year ban. He was convicted of drug driving in 2019 and failing to provide in August, for which he was disqualified for three years.”

Representing Roberts, of Maesgarmon, Castle Caereinion, Rob Hanratty said: “The defendant was stopped, but there was no question of impairment.

“He was stopped again the following day and had the same drug in his system. He became belligerent as he felt he was being targeted.”

Probation officer Julian Davies said Roberts had completed the 60 hours of unpaid work ordered in August as part of a 12-month community order punishment.

County Times:

“This offence pre-dates the community order made on August 1,” said Mr Davies.

“He has attended probation appointments and engaged well. He is maintaining his abstinence from cannabis.”

Roberts was handed a 12-month community order again, with an additional 120 hours of unpaid work to complete.

He must pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs. His driving ban was lengthened to four years.